Ban Yer Ass

I run a UT2004 demo server out of my house (Zoyx Server Status). Players, in general, are well behaved. Before today, there were some bad nicknames, (N*****Hater was one of them). I kicked them and they didn’t return. There were other players who had long periods of AFK (away from keyboard), they got a kick also. Well today, I had a guy who was out to just be an ass. Called players names, trash talking using gross language, etc. I kick’em. He joined back in. I kick again and he joined again. This continued for some time.

Now you are wondering why I didn’t do a perma-ban. The way the ban feature works is that it goes by your unique player ID. With the demo version however, everyone has the same player ID. So if I ban one player, I ban everyone. Finally, I went on the web and did some research. It was possible to ban a player by IP address instead of by ID. I had to turn the server off to make this change. I added the naughty player’s IP. Now, it is possible for this player to get a different IP, so this may only be temporary. It is better than nothing, however.

{insert segue here}

I found a couple of houses to look at. They don’t inspire me like the tree fort house, but they do have a certain “coolness factor”. The first one had a log cabin theme. I did a drive by of this house. The basement is included in the finished square feet. Basement appears to be well above the the water table. Plenty of yard with a few storage units. It has 2 acres of land, but I suspect that half of that is swampy, or at least moist. I love the rustic look of the exterior and interior.

The other house is new. Since I knew this one wasn’t occupied, I got brave and walked around the lot. The land this house is on was swamp. The pond in the back is from dredging out the fill for the house and the driveway. This house is on 3 acres of land, but again, most of it swamp. This house has no basement, which is good, considering it is only a couple feet above the water table. The small pond would seem to be a good thing. The back porch overlooks this scenic pond. However, during the dog days of summer, it will probably get stinky and will also be good breeding ground for mosquitoes.

I think I will ask for a formal showing of both. Should provide for some entertainment tomorrow.

The Blues

The weather is miserable out. I was down in the cities in hopes of doing some kayaking. I think I spent about a half hour out on White Bear Lake, just so I could say I didn’t waste the effort of bringing the kayak down.

I am now back in Duluth. I figured I could play video games just as easily here, as I could down in the cities. It is just as gloomy here as it was in the cities, with the added bonus of being 15 degrees cooler (45 degrees here).

I have decided to not make an offer on the tree fort house. I don’t think I could sleep at night with that creek eroding away at the footings of the house. Damn that house is cool though.

So here I am, I can’t find another house that would warrant moving out of the current house. The combination of not being able to find another house and the gloomy weather has got me bummed. At least I have my health.

Critical Eye

I finally took a long look at the disclosure statement for the tree fort house I am thinking about buying. There was leaking from the roof. It only happened once during the past winter. The roof is flat, which often has more issues compared to pitched roof, especially in Minnesota. I doubt there was action taken, so the roof will need some attention if I take ownership. When I took the tour, I did see some cracks in the ceiling. The disclosure statement also said there were cracks in some of the walls as well. Is this just par for the course, or a sign that the “foundation” (iron stilts) is contorting a little bit.

I went to city hall, and the only thing they had on it was the original plans (unreadable), and the variance that they applied for. The variance was for placing the basement underneath the driveway and garage. The basement also had to go fairly close to the street, within 6 feet. There is currently construction on the street this house is on. They dug a ditch and dropped some utilities on the houses side of the street. The basement survived this so that’s a good sign.

The house has in-floor heating. I have yet to see what the annual costs for heating is yet. Since the main part of the house is totally surrounded by air, I imagine the heating bill is substantial.

The price of the house is fairly cheap, considering the market. You’d think this would make me happy – it just makes me paranoid. My agent assures me this house is built for the future, but what does she know. Only a trained engineer can give an accurate answer on the stability of this house.

Meanwhile, I am typing this from my sisters in White Bear Lake. The Willernie house is gone so here I am. I have lost some privacy and some convenience, but this is whole lot cheaper. Hopefully we won’t get on each others nerves. I brought my cat and both of the cats that live are pissed… really pissed. They don’t seem to understand my cat just wants to be friends.

It is done

The Willernie Leisure Society (WLS) headquarters is no longer. The closing occurred yesterday afternoon. The closing check plopped into my account this morning. End of an era. Only a 21 month long era… but an era all the same.

Now I have a decision to make… what the heck to do with the WLS web site. Probably nothing, If anyone has any creative ideas for this site, pass it along.

Meanwhile I saw the tree fort house and fell in love with it. It isn’t free of issues, so I have to iron through them before I make an offer. Plus it is a good idea to mull over this during the long weekend.

Still got it

There is a basketball hoop attached to my garage here in Duluth. I have used it, maybe 15 to 20 times since I moved here over 5 years ago. Today I measured out the free throw line and I dared myself to hit 10 in a row. Took me all of 10 minutes to swish 10 in a row. My all time record, if I recall, is 27 in a row. The only free throw contest I entered was back in my college days in Rapid City (around 1990). I came up runner up out of about 20 contestants. I should shoot around more often. When I was young, most of my more creative thoughts came while I was putting up jump shots.

I’m done with my midnight shifts. One of life’s simple pleasures is the first full night of sleep after a set of midnights. The additional pleasure is that I don’t have to work for 7 days. bad news is that I go back on midnights when I go back.

I am going to have some formal showings of houses tomorrow. The first one is 2.5 acres on Caribou Lake, about 10 miles northwest of town. The other house is in the eastern part of town, I call it the tree fort house (so do others). I am particularly interested in this one. I snuck a peak at this house a few days back, and the side of the house that is away from the road is about 25 feet off the ground. Some interesting engineering went into building this structure.

Here is Edina Realty’s pages on the two houses. The links will die when the houses are taken off the market. Caribou Lake house | Tree Fort House.

Accident

One of the regulars at the Coyote forums had an “incident” at his place. I’ll let the forum thread speak for itself…

USA as Tool

Must… Get… Sleep

I think I just broke a record. After my midnight shift last night, I slept until 330 PM. In other words, a whole 6 hours. I woke up at 2 PM, which is usually when I get up. I still felt drowsy, so rolled over and tried to fall asleep. I did! To top it all off, I feel fairly refreshed. No “hangover” feeling that I usually have after waking up. Now if I get a 2 hour nap before going into work tonight, I will have had 8 hours of sleep. I don’t think I have ever done that between midnight shifts. Although with the Wolves/Lakers game starting at 8 PM, that nap is in jeopardy

Another bonus, I get 7 days off after tonights shift. I was supposed to have a bunch of friends come up from the cities and hang out at my “pad”. They all seem to wussing out. Really can’t blame them. If the weather outside sucks (which it has the past 4 days) , the outdoor activities we had planned would suck. Looks like I am going to go down to the cities and bug them instead.

SFF Computer

I mentioned this computer system briefly in another post. I thought it should deserve its own post. Talking about the IWill’s ZMAXdp. This cute little bugger packs a lot of punch. Dual Athlons that use S940 sockets can be plugged into this baby. An article done by Hexus shows more detail of the innards of this thing. The exciting stuff… built in WiFi and FireWire400 controller. Not so exciting stuff… PCI and AGP slots (hoping for PCI Express) and ATA ports (should be SATA). I guess the most impressive things is the cooling system. The CPU slots are inline so the custom cooling system will fit. Then there are heat pipes leading from the CPUs to an elaborate copper fin set up. The system fan pulls double duty, pulling ambient air across both the cooling fins for the CPU and across the power supply.

I already own one of these type of SFF (small form factor) computers. It is the first generation SS51 XPC by Shuttle. When I initially bought theSS51, it came with a 2.0a P4 chip and an 80 GB hard drive. I have since upgraded to 2.8a and a 200 GB hard drive. I have also upgraded the video card from a Nvidia Ti 4200 to a ATi 9700 during that time. One thing that I haven’t done yet is upgrade the memory. Still going with the original 512 MB pc2700 DDR stick. UT2004 (one of the games I play) desperately wants me to upgrade to at least a GB of memory. Here is a picture of it soon after I purchased it. I bought the SS51 back in July of 2002.

Joke

Cy, one of our phone-in weather observers, tells a joke each time he calls. He is an 85 year old WW2 vet who is still quite active. So here is the joke of the day…

Why does a chicken coupe only have two doors…

…if it had four doors, it would be a sedan.

Have a nice day!

Blade Runner

It took me over 20 years, but I finally got around to watching “Blade Runner”. I have the fun juxtaposition of seeing “I Shot Andy Warhol” and “Blade Runner” at approximately the same time.

In “Warhol”, Valerie posts the question, “why do we need to continue to reproduce”? Women should just get rid of men, do their own thing, not reproduce, let the human race fade away through attrition.

In Blade Runner, we have replicants. Why don’t we take Valerie’s idea a step further. We sustain our race until we have developed a race of replicants that can replace us folks. A race that doesn’t need sex to reproduce and a race that can live forever (immortality) without disease. These will be our “children”. Of course this will result in a world that the Matrix is centered around. The Matrix world will come along because there will always be humans against this idea, and they will go “underground”.

Of course I could just be a nut case like Valerie.

Meanwhile, enough talk about something that will happen after I am dead and gone. I found my next computer, the IWILL lZMAXdp. The main selling point of this doohickey is that it has dual Opterons (SMP goodness) in a Small Form Factor (SFF) “cube”. Oops, just noticed it doesn’t come with PCI Express slots. That would make it hard to update and expand. Might still make for a neat small game server.